For the first time ever, a pharmaceutical company social media site has been practically shut down due to a barrage of posts made by a “disgruntled” patient. The site is sanofi-aventis’s (S-A’s) VOICES Facebook page.
As reported by Pharma Marketing Blog, Shirley Ledlie, a cancer survivor who had permanent hair loss after taking Taxotere, a drug marketed by sanofi-aventis (S-A), has succeeded in causing S-A to shut down all comments to the Wall of its Facebook page (see “Disgruntled Patient Shuts Down sanofi-aventis Facebook Page“).
“I actually think i did a very good job in closing down the FB page of Europes largest drugs company, something i am very proud of and something i havent finished with yet,” said Shirley Ledlie in a comment made to my “Ask Social Media Intern” questionnaire/survey.
“In a quick visit to the VOICES page,” said John Mack, author of Pharma Marketing Blog, “I found that all the posts to the Wall had been deleted and have been replaced by this statement: ‘sanofi-aventis VOICES has no recent posts.’ No further comments can be posted to the VOICES Wall. It appears that S-A could not stand up to the onslaught waged by Ledlie’s solitary ‘voice’ and just decided to call it quits!”
“A precedent has been set by this experience, which does not bode well for the future of pharma social media,” said Mack.
In a comment to Mack’s post, Andrew Spong (@andrewspong) said that “S-A sleep-walked into this. I think Ms. Ledlie has achieved rather more than that. I don’t think she’s been tilting at windmills: I think she has provided us a with a compelling example of what happens when pharma companies want to maintain a presence on a social media platform whilst playing ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’. I say good for Ms. Ledlie.”